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Cottagers celebrate completion of shoreline wall near Grand Bend

Reference: CTV News

Cathy Purdom admires a 700 foot long steel wall, she and 11 of her neighbours had built to separate them from the raging waters of Lake Huron.

“Just in the four years that I’ve been here, it’s eroded like 30 to 40 feet and the water was digging into our embankment,” she said.

To help protect their cottages from potentially sliding right into Lake Huron, Purdom and her neighbours on Windy Hill Lane, just north of Grand Bend, spent about a year navigating a sometimes frustrating process to build their seven foot tall wall, through the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).

“It was very easy to understand, we needed to give them exactly what they needed. To take any shortcuts was not going to work. So we all committed to the process of making sure we did it all right,” said Purdom.

It was a busy summer for shoreline work along Lake Huron, as record-high Great Lakes water levels subsided, allowing cottage owners’ access to their eroding waterfronts.


But, according to the ABCA, not everyone followed the rules. A contractor was fined $13,500 and three landowners near Grand Bend were charged in December for doing shoreline work without the proper permits.

The ABCA says they recognize how arduous the permitting process is for shoreline protection work and how unhappy some residents are with it. But, they say it’s also necessary for the protection of the environment and the safety of property owners.

“The enforcement activities we undertake that take up a lot of our staff time is really from a minority of people,” said Daniel King, regulations co-ordination with the ABCA... Read More